Growing up on the Wet Coast, I did a lot of outdoorsy stuff, rain or shine, but rarely got the chance to cross country ski and was okay with that. When we actually had snow, I was at Whistler, Seymour, Cypress or Grouse Mountain downhilling. Why on earth would I want to walk through the snow when there were glorious mountains to fly down? As a result, I didn’t get into cross country until seven years ago at the behest of my husband.
My first times out were on crappy Classic skis that had seen better days. After a few test runs at Canada Olympic Park, we went to the mountains. I quickly realized black runs were not for beginners and could appreciate that there was more to the sport than meets the eye. Trying to get down an icy slope alive, with insubstantial skis, was akin to sledding into trees with my eyes shut. Both methods would have the same survival rate, I swore, and swear I did… copiously. There may have been some screaming down Blueberry Hill along the lines of “Get out of the way! I can’t stop!! I will kill you! Can’t stop! Moooooove!!” Nevertheless, I stuck with the sport, but upgraded the seriously bad 20 year old skis… and we downgraded to blue trails so as not to pollute the woods with my profanities.
Since I took up cross country, so many friends and relatives have asked, “Is it actually fun? What do you like about it? Isn’t it hard?” To all the haters, I give you:
10 Reasons To Hate (or Love) Cross Country Skiing
- It’s a cheap sport. When the kids ask if you can stop for McDonald’s on the way home, you can’t say no, because you didn’t spend a penny (besides gas) to ski.
- There aren’t a lot of people on the trail. You might ski for an hour to see a dozen skiers. Not good for single people; not good at all.
- You can actually find parking close to the trailhead so you don’t get to ride in the back of a truck or trailer to your car. You will miss out!
- It’s a real workout, so even if it’s cold out, you are toasty warm and maybe even sweaty. Bring deodorant or your stank ass might not get a ride home.
- You can tow your kids in a pulk or Chariot. Yes, that means no babysitter, but you are stuck with them… all day. The horror.
- The warming huts don’t serve booze. You have to bring your own (unless you are driving home after, then scratch that idea).
- No waiting around for lifts. There are no lineups for anything! What will you do with all that free time and no wifi?
- Lots of cross country skiers also backcountry ski, so they aren’t impressed by your out of bounds resort skiing. Gotta show off to a different crowd.
- The backcountry huts don’t have hot tubs. No biological soup for you!
- It’s a family friendly sport, so again, you are stuck with the kids. The kids might make friends with other kids and want to ski longer, making it a long day in the mountains. Who likes that?
Do you hate or love cross country skiing?